20 Champions: Sara Razavi

Sara Razavi was a very obvious choice to include as one of our 20 Champions. What has Sara not done for Golden Thread? She’s been on our stages (most memorably in Yussef El Guindi’s The Monologist Suffers Her Monologue), directed numerous plays for the ReOrient, served on our Board of Trustees, including as president of the board (2011-2013). We are very lucky to have her as part of the Golden Thread family.

What was your first experience with Golden Thread and when? I met founding Artistic Director Torange Yeghiazarian when I moved to the Bay Area after college in 2002. Born in Iran, but there only until I was seven years old, I had been raised in the first generation immigrant communities of Orange County. While rich in experiences, new immigrant communities can also be extremely insular, and I worried identifying too much with my immigrant experience would be at the exclusion of my other identities as a queer woman and theatre artist. Torange, however, was unlike other immigrants I had met; she used language to unify, and not to divide. While she speaks many languages fluently, each of Golden Thread"s productions are in English so to include everyone with similar experiences.

Why do you need Golden Thread? Golden Thread is necessary for our community and our time. It has helped many in the Middle Eastern community, including me, articulate experiences and themes they had not been able to access previously. Most recently I directed a new play by Iranian playwright Nahal Navidar about the strain on young friends during the early years of the Iran-Iraq War. The story helped open windows into my past, and allowed for new conversations with friends and family about a time in recent Iranian history that gets little attention outside of Iran. As a member of the company, and also an Iranian American living in the United States in this time of mounting xenophobia, I am grateful for Golden Thread to put a human face on my often misunderstood homeland and family experience.

What was your strangest, oddest, funniest Golden Thread experience? I honestly can’t think of anything. That’s really weird. You’d think with all the eating, drinking, singing, and dancing (aka partying) that happens with every opening, milestone, or frankly anytime more than three company members get together, I’d have something – but drawing a complete blank.

**Describe Golden Thread in 20 words (no cheating). ** Drinking, Dancing, Singing, Talking, Kissing cheek to cheek, Loving, Family, Yelling, Clapping, Snapping, Hair, Lots and Lots of Great Hair.

Read the rest of our “20 Champions for 20 Years” blog series!

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